Thrills and spills in Winter Challenge at Dezzi Raceway – photo gallery


Ralph Pike

What was meant to be the Historic Tour meeting at Dezzi South Coast Raceway at the weekend morphed into the Winter Challenge due to the fact that four additional classes were included in the programme.

The two days were jam-packed with action, entertaining the large crowds that attended.

Friday started off with rain and cold weather, which led to many vehicles losing control and spinning off the circuit, fortunately, not many incurring damages.

However, the Porsche 911 belonging to and driven by Peter Jenkins was badly damaged when he left the circuit and crashed down an embankment.

Extensive damage to the left front wheel and suspension putting paid to his weekend.

With the weather clearing around 11am, the drivers got down to some decent times in all classes.

Saturday morning’s activities got underway at 07:00 with four classes having to set qualifying times for their respective races. Thereafter, the programme, which included nine different categories, continued throughout the day.

The first heat of the very popular Pre 80s Historic Saloons event got under way with KwaZulu-Natal driver Rob Prece in the Kingsley Wood VW golf starting from pole position leading the way.

Jackie Morrison in his very rapid Ford Escort MK2 gave chase and kept his second position till the end of the race.

There were some tight battles throughout the race, which had the spectators cheering on their favourites.

The second heat was the highlight of the day for many with Frank Davis in his very rapid Mk1 Escort #5, who missed the first heat due to some gremlins sidelining him, starting at the rear of the field of some 30 plus cars on the grid.

He put up a sterling performance driving his way to fourth place, only a 1000th or so separating him and Greg Steen in his similar Mk1 Escort at the finishing line.

The race was once again won by local driver Prece, this time followed by Meredith Willis in his Mk2 Escort.

It was a pity that some of the other top drivers in this series were sidelined with breakdowns. These included Collin Ellison in his Ford Fairlane, Jannie van Rooyen in his Scirorroco, Johan Smith in his Mazda Capella Rotary and Mike O’Sullivan in the big orange Chev.

The 111 sports and saloons as always had the fans cheering in some very close racing, the winner being Gerhard Henning in his Polo with Ronald van Rensburg taking second in his Golf Mk1 in the first race.

Super saloons was a closely-contested affair with Keegan Pottas’ Honda taking first in both heats followed by JB Breedt in his BMW.

Investichem Formula Fords provided some entertainment with some close racing in the age old formula, which saw the likes of former Formula 1 South African world champion Jody Scheckter having progressed from Formula Ford to higher things.

The Lotus Challenge was well represented with local drivers mixing it with other national drivers, and the VW Challenge had a large field of Mk1 Golfs mixing it up with numerous Polos, all very competitive.

A special mention must also be made to the marshalls, recovery staff, and organisers for the efficient way the day was run. Even with the amount of vehicles stopping on circuit or crashing, these were cleared in minimal time.


About Author

Leave A Reply